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7 January 2022 Vascular Flora of the Christmount Preserve, Buncombe County, North Carolina
Amy E. Boyd, Lane Doyle, Susan E. Lusardi, Gray Allen Goliszek
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Abstract

The Christmount Preserve is a botanically diverse and ecologically rich area of approximately 155 ha of southern Appalachian forest held in conservation easement. We conducted a floristic inventory of the preserve to inform conservation efforts on the property. Although the plant diversity within the preserve is an important attraction for residents and visitors, information on its flora is limited. This study builds upon a brief but informative 1996 report of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program summarizing the preserve's attributes as a natural area. A total of 317 specimens of vascular plants were collected during 2018–2020 to develop a vouchered flora of the preserve. These specimens documented 221 species in 165 genera and 84 families, 4.5% of which are not native to the Appalachian Mountain region. We found three plant taxa that are listed by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program: Coreopsis latifolia, Hypericum buckleyi, and Robinia hispida var. fertilis. Plant community types found on the property include large areas of Rich Cove Forest, Acidic Cove Forest, and Montane Oak-Hickory Forest, but also included small patches of Pine-Oak/Heath–High Elevation Subtype, a globally imperiled plant association, along the high ridgelines. The information presented here will be used to help guide management efforts as well as educational programming by the managing organization, Christmount Christian Association (CCA).

Copyright 2021 Southern Appalachian Botanical Society
Amy E. Boyd, Lane Doyle, Susan E. Lusardi, and Gray Allen Goliszek "Vascular Flora of the Christmount Preserve, Buncombe County, North Carolina," Castanea 86(2), 185-195, (7 January 2022). https://doi.org/10.2179/0008-7475.86.2.185
Received: 22 December 2020; Accepted: 3 August 2021; Published: 7 January 2022
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KEYWORDS
biodiversity
cove forests
floristic survey
plant communities
southern Appalachian Mountains
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